One of this year’s requirements we have made a primary goal is: Be able to drive nearly 20ft per second and highly maneuverable. In order to make this possible we have zeroed in on two drives that we think we can allow us to meet this goal. The first is the infamous Swerve drive and the second is the slightly less infamous and scarier Octocannum drive. These two drives are two of the most expensive, heavy, hard to manufacture and hard to code drives trains in FRC today. Under normal conditions these drives should never be attempted unless a team has invested time over the last few years to get to know them inside and out. But, we are gluttons for punishment and no matter what want to learn as much as we can each year, and taking one of these drives on would definitely push us to learn more this season than we are planning. The risks are pretty strait forward, we could be heavy, we could screw up fabrication, we could screw up the wiring, we could screw up the pneumatics, we could screw up the code and last but not least, we could not get anything else working because we dump to much time into the drive train.
The only thing that could save our bacon if we go his route is that both Andymark and Vexpro have cots solutions that would eliminate most of the fabrication risks.
This is going to sound strange, but we think the swerve module from Andymark, that comes with everything but encoders would reduce enough risk to make this a viable option for a team that has only done drop 6 drive trains before. That is a totally loaded statement, but hear us out. The Andymark swerve only needs electricity and has all of the motors and chains we would need to just strap this on our machine. We would still need to buy all of the encoders and encoder mounting hardware, but for all intents and purposes this module is ready for wiring and code pretty quickly. On the other side, the Vexpro swerve needs some engineering to make work and the Octocannum needs electrical, pneumatics and some engineering. The major downside of the Andymark Swerve is that it is slow. 11.5fps is about half the speed we are looking for.
We are going to do a full trade study on these three options today and will publish the results tomorrow.
On other topics, the team was hard at work making prototypes and started their robot in 5 days. We will have pics and videos up tomorrow.